Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Babies Placed In Incubators Decrease Risk Of Depression As Adults

Date:
November 11, 2008
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Babies who receive incubator care after birth are two to three times less likely to suffer depression as adults according to a surprising new study published in the journal Psychiatry Research.

Baby girl laying in her incubator. Babies who receive incubator care after birth are two to three times less likely to suffer depression as adults according to a new study published in the journal Psychiatry Research.
Credit: iStockphoto/Jacqueline Hunkele

Babies who receive incubator care after birth are two to three times less likely to suffer depression as adults according to a new study published in the journal Psychiatry Research.

Related Articles


The surprising discovery was made by scientists from the Université de Montréal and Sainte Justine Hospital Research Center in collaboration with researchers from McGill University, the Douglas Hospital Research Centre and the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College in the U.K.

"In mammals, separation between mother and child after birth has always been considered a major stressor that can cause behavioural problems well into adulthood," says coauthor Richard E. Tremblay a professor of psychology, pediatrics and psychiatry at the Université de Montréal and director of the Research Unit on Children's Psycho-Social Maladjustment at the Sainte Justine Hospital Research Center. "Our hypothesis was that mother-baby separation resulting from incubator care could heighten depression in adolescence or adulthood. Instead, we found that incubator care could decrease the risk of depression two-to-threefold by the age of 21."

For this study – the first to examine the impact of incubator care on adult depression – the research team studied a subsample of 1212 children recruited from a longitudinal study launched in 1986. Children were recruited from Quebec kindergartens and facts on birth condition, obstetrical complications and incubator care were obtained through hospital medical records. Participants received psychiatric assessments when they were 15 and 21 years old. Researchers found that:

  • Of the 16.5 percent babies placed in incubators only 5 percent suffered major depression by age 21.
  • Among participants who were not placed in incubators, 9 percent developed depression, which is the average rate for general society.
  • Correlation between decreased depression and incubator care remained after factoring participant age, weight at birth, family adversity or maternal depression.

The research team also found that girls were three times less likely to experience depression by the age of 15 if they had received incubator care at birth. "This difference was due to the fact that more girls experience depression than boys during adolescence and how boys suffer depression in later adolescent years," says co author Frank Vitaro, a Université de Montréal professor and member of the Research Unit on Children's Psychosocial Maladjustment.

Chain of biological and emotional factors

The research team found that direct and indirect stimuli – not just incubators per se – could decrease depression. For instance, incubators are controlled environments where body temperature, brain oxygenation, sound and light are adjusted to maximize neuronal development. What's more, children who received incubator care as babies typically received more emotional support from their mothers throughout childhood because they were perceived as more vulnerable.

"Incubator care was not the sole factor that shielded participants from future depression," says first author David Gourion, formerly of the Université de Montréal and Sainte Justine Hospital Research Center and now at psychiatrist at the Hôpital Sainte-Anne in Paris.

"We believe that incubator care is a trigger for a complex chain of biological and emotional factors that helped decrease depression."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David Gourion et al. Early environment and major depression in young adults: A longitudinal study. Psychiatry Research, (in press)

Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Babies Placed In Incubators Decrease Risk Of Depression As Adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110153725.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2008, November 11). Babies Placed In Incubators Decrease Risk Of Depression As Adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110153725.htm
University of Montreal. "Babies Placed In Incubators Decrease Risk Of Depression As Adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110153725.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins